Lyrics have powerful meaning. Oftentimes the hidden stories behind the words convey the deeper message and usually need explanation. I challenge you to research the stories behind the lyrics of your favorite songs.

I have been known to write lyrics for ballads and rap songs always with the promise of positive and inspirational messaging. I also provide the stories behind the words with the intent of delivering a personal development message in a creative way.

My latest work is the “Do You Rap”. I wrote the lyrics and performed the rap with the amazing music composition of Sean Galloway… aka Kniknotti. He provides the tracks for me to write to and coaches me on the delivery. Sean is one of the great ones in the world of music and video production. One of my richest blessings is the opportunity to work with him. Allow me to dive into the meaning of these words.

First of all, it’s important to know that lyric authors, “Lyricists”, often get their inspiration from their life experiences. They seek to express their deepest emotions about things that have affected their lives in a good or bad way. Some of the greatest works come from the dark or challenging times of the author’s life.

In the year prior to writing the “DO YOU RAP” I had experienced a few boisterous people constantly questioning my antics and approaches to business, speeches, trainings and other activities. With social media, those few voices created chatter in my life that was making me question myself. I also noticed critics of other people that I follow, admire and learn from. At the same time I was watching ethnic, racial and country relationships spiraling downward throughout our world. And, again, social media was amplifying those troubles.

What’s interesting about this is there are 2 subjects that I am very passionate about. One is being true to your own genius and the other is accepting people for who they are and celebrating the human race as one collective family.  This weighed heavy on my mind for many months. I finally put my thoughts into words with the “Do You Manifesto”.  From that message, I created the “Do You Rap lyrics”. What I wanted to convey in the manifesto and the rap was that these 2 subjects are directly related. Getting along with people in the world is directly related to accepting others for whom they are. And, the best way to do that is to accept yourself for who you are and dare to be yourself regardless of what others think. If you “DO YOU” its easier to accept and celebrate others who do the same. So, the following lyrics come from this mindset: 

(Italics are the lyrics.  Regular font gives interpretation)

Verse 1

Spend your life upon what other people think of you

Split the bag confused and never knowing what to do

Nowhere fast, not a blast, must you ask how to make it good

Like the stories comin out of Hollywood

If your focus is on what other people think, you get confused. The reference “split the bag” means your mindset is split between your inner voice that tells you who you are and the outer commotion of others telling you what you ought to be. It causes confusion that freezes your progress if you allow it to. You feel stuck, it’s not fun and you end up referring to entertainment and other people’s stories of success. You’re on the sidelines watching instead of starring in you own life movie. This is a frustrating place and everyone spends time there.

Casey Eberhart, the man, how did he win the prize

Promote, appreciate, and yes he’s big to advertise

He didn’t get there from the back of stage, not his page

He’s comin from the house

Table dancing, dream romancing, boredom douce, he’s no slouce

In these words, I wanted to provide a real life example of someone who found success by staying true to who he was. The example comes from a close friend and business associate named Casey Eberhart. Many of you who are reading this know who he is. Casey is a speaker. He heavily promotes himself and others through social media. He has his own unique approach to beginning his presentations where, regardless of the venue and platform, he makes a point to come from the back of the room when he is announced (production crews call this “back of house”).  Most speakers, when announced, come from “back of stage”. Sometimes, Casey’s “back of house” is not easy for the production crew to pull off because they have a set show flow that calls people from back of stage. Casey finds a way to do his thing no matter what the venue. And the crew ends up loving him even though he messed with their show-flow.  Now I need to make a confession here because, even I at times would question Casey’s antics and was critical of him when he pushed this approach. So here I am preaching this “allow people to be who they are” message and I was falling into the trap myself. I called myself out on this and corrected it. I celebrate Casey for his table dancing, dream romancing approach to motivating people… Rock on brotha.

Steven Bailey, yes he might be headin for the door

Come on back and brave it, until you see the score, it’s ground floor

This boy is doin more., to teach you how to bridge the gap

Help you see I’m doin me, defining moment in a rap

Now you’re done letting people tell you what do

So be true

So be true, and do you

In this set of words I convey the story of another friend and business associate, Steven Bailey. In the past, he had been verbal about his distaste for rap music and hip-hop. He had even mentioned in an email once that he thought of heading for the door when he heard me talking about hip-hop lyrics from the stage. The interesting thing is that the lyrics of that song had a message in it that he and others needed to deal with challenges they were facing. He later told me about a valuable lesson he had learned about my music approach.  He said, he did not get the approach but he sat with a team member at one of my events and witnessed the profound effect my music and lyrics had on him. At that point, the lights went on for Steve. He realized that my unique approach with music affected different people in different ways. He began to let down his guard and watch for the message in peoples different approaches.

Though this may appear to be my way of calling Steve out, he has been so professional and gracious in his willingness to allow this story to have a positive impact on others. Steven, I love ya brotha and, together, we are spreading this message of acceptance to others.

Chorus / Hook

I just gotta do me, while you do you

I just gotta do me, while you do you

Verse 2

Now you’re done, letting people tell you what do

So be true to you, and do you

And celebrate, other people when they do the same

Don’t be lame, play the game and your life will make it to the top

Don’t stop hit the floor, do your thing and never drop

Black, white, steel worker and the cop

In this verse I begin to shift from the personal “do you” message to the interaction we all have in society. I start by saying your done letting other people tell you what to do so do you and celebrate other people when they do the same. This is the game that will get you to the top on your own life journey. And, in light of what’s going on in the world, we need to celebrate the diversity of race, nationality and occupation. Allow people to be who they are. Especially pay tribute and be respectful of those that protect our wellbeing. The bottom line is there are good people and bad people. There are good blue collar and white-collar workers and there are bad ones. There are good cops and bad cops. There is acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior in people. Stereotyping is not good regardless of who is doing it or whom it’s getting it done to. 

We love are families and we want to live our life and chase our dream

Feel free to walk down the street and sing

But social media, is so full of chatter

We need to stop the clatter, All Lives Matter

Yeah you heard it right all lives matter

Bring it to the ladder climb high, don’t be sadder

These words state the obvious. They focus on how we are all the same as a people. We all love our families and we want to live our life and chase our dream. We all want to matter, we all want to make a difference and we all want to be happy. But we do live in a different world today. People are addicted to their smart phones and the social media craze. We get caught up in the stories and the drama of other people. Most people that are not tuned into their own genius get caught up in all the chatter. We allow others negativity to effect us. This is one of the ways our racial tension has escalated in the past several years. Nobody, regardless of race, color or creed can argue with the fact that “All Lives Matter”. Why? Because, that sentence includes everyone. It does not separate one group only as the one that matters. This is not a political message and don’t allow anyone to convince you it is. It is common sense.

Stick and stone, they break your bone

I ask you what’s the use, no excuse

We born with love and peace without abuse

Black and white, brown and free, the test we all must pass

Human race, only race we lovin’ in one class

Name calling, offensive language, gender insensitivity, racial slurs, they are all sticks and stones and they hurt. They never help or make anyone feel good. So what is the use? They don’t even make the person saying them feel any better. It only makes them feel worse.  So, no more excuses. Simply stop saying stupid things that tear others down.  We were born with love and peace, abuse was learned from a weak cynical society. There is only one race, it is the human race and we can learn so much from the diversity of the world. That’s why it exists. It is the true test we need to pass as human beings.

Look, I am white. I was born that way. There is nothing I can do about that. There is nothing I can do about history or the terrible injustices that happened to other races throughout history. The only thing I can do is be loving and accepting of all people. And I should be given that same respect. I feel for the white football player standing next to his black teammate during the national anthem as a fellow player, friend and associate. Those players are brothers with the bonds of a team. But then the moment comes when the black player puts up his arm with his hand in a fist representing the symbol of “Black Power” and his white team mate doesn’t know what to do; brothers one moment and confusion in the next.  As long as we have this kind of activity there will be separation. I believe in black power to. Is it ok for me to raise my arm? More importantly, I believe in people power. Its time that we create symbols of human race unity.

Chorus / Hook

I just gotta do me, while you do you

I just gotta do me, while you do you

Verse 3

Defining moments on McCabe Avenue, where I knew it was true

That people yes we all the same, yes the same, its a game

The game of life we chillin’ in the hood

Neighborhood we had a real good time

All the time, yours and mine, we real fine and doin’ what we do

In this verse I talk about the personal and the societal experience out in Baltimore Maryland, USA. I was a white kid living in an all black neighborhood. I was accepted first by one person, a 17-year-old black kid named Tony Watson. Soon thereafter, I was accepted by most. I learned there that we are all the same and we had great times together on those streets. Race or color of skin was never discussed. It was a testimony to me of what is possible and how things should be.

So do you and act make a pact

Go produce with no excuse get out your own way

Every day, I challenge you to be who you wanna be

Set yourself free and get jacked to take control

Gettin full, you on a roll, so do you

Now I begin to introduce the concept of not only doing you but also going into massive action. Get into the mode of producing or building something that is worthwhile to others. By finding your genius you can offer the world that you are by creating your unique service and offering to others. It’s impossible to tear anything down when you are actively involved in producing and building something positive.

Defining moments in the house, we working really hard

Produce or loot

It’s up to you but if you loot

We kickin’ you to the yard

It’s really hard to fake your way anyway

You say it’s not your fault

Oh my goodness…..

Where is John Galt?

I end the song by introducing a concept that comes from a literature classic book titled “Atlas Shrugged” written by Ayn Rand in 1957. We are taken on a brilliant fictional story; a story where heads of big industry, in the book known as producers, are struggling to keep their businesses operational. Their opposition comes from regulators, in the book known as “Looters” that continue to gain power and stifle the growth of the producers. As the story line continues, the “Producers” start disappearing and it’s a great mystery as to where they have gone. Later you find there is a character by the name of John Galt that shows up and offers the producers a new society where production can thrive once again. Though some view this book as politically controversial, it points out a simple fact. In our world we have people that build things, ”Producers”, and people that tear things down, “Looters”. Also in our world, we are constantly seeking for a solution to a stronger economy and a better society in which to live. In the book, that solution comes in the name of John Galt.

The song proposes that we need to be who we are, use our genius to be productive in the world and allow others to do the same. When you are not true to you, you judge others who try to be true to them. When your not producing, you naturally begin to tear other things down.  When people judge, point fingers, and come up with excuses as to why they are not where they want to be, they begin to migrate into the “Looter” category. That is why the closing line says “it’s really hard to fake your way, anyway you say, its not your fault”.  We mic-drop when we say: “Oh my goodness, where is John Galt.”

So the final message is this. No more excuses. Dare to be you. Put in the effort to take your genius and build something special with your life. Respect and celebrate others when they do the same. Don’t be that someone that makes others seek out John Galt. We don’t need a secret society. We can rebuild the one we have with the message that’s found in the words of this rap song.

The following is a live presentation where I present the “Do You Manifesto” and perform the “Do You” rap. I hope you enjoy!

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